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Arbitrary code execution

Arbitrary code execution

(also ACE)

Arbitrary code execution definition

Arbitrary code execution, put simply, is a vulnerability that allows attackers to inject their own malicious code onto a target system without user awareness or permission. The ramifications are significant and potentially disastrous — from data breaches to full-scale system takeovers that grant bad actors access to sensitive information and critical infrastructure components. It’s no wonder why experts consider arbitrary code execution one of the most pressing threats facing modern cybersecurity.

See also: buffer overflow attack, end-to-end encryption, SQL injection

Arbitrary code execution examples

  • Buffer overflow attacks: An attacker inputs more data than a buffer can handle, causing the excess data to overwrite other memory locations, which can then be used to execute malicious code.
  • SQL injection: An attacker injects SQL code into a web application’s database query, allowing them to execute arbitrary commands and potentially gain unauthorized access to the system.

Arbitrary code execution prevention tips

  • Keep software and operating systems updated with the latest security patches.
  • Use reliable antivirus software and keep it updated.
  • Implement a firewall to help filter out malicious traffic.
  • Regularly scan your system for vulnerabilities and address them promptly.
  • Utilize NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature to secure your internet browsing activities.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security